Monday, January 27, 2014

February We Have Plans

Ok most of you know I am a thrifty, sassy mama. 

I typically stretch my dollars and am thrifty and frugal.  It is just in my blood.  I like to have the best deal. 

Take for instance my new tires I had to buy this weekend.  I was originally quoted at over a thousand dollars for the 4 of them.  Yes, I negotiated and really worked the salesperson.  $870.00 was a steal compared to what they were trying to get out of me.  I had already compared with 2 other places on the price of just one and much lesser quality.  I really got the best deal to be found for me.

This weekend (even after shopping the thrift store a few weeks back) I realized my son's pants had holes in the majority of them and he was wearing them to school :(  Sure enough this weekend you found me making my rounds at a handful of yard sales where I scored a few pants for a dollar each and two others that were brand new with tags for $2.00 each.  Well, sure enough I paid way less than had I bought one at the store new.  (I may or may not have also found him some nice pajamas and a robe for a dollar each as well.)

When it comes to grocery shopping, when there is a good deal, I tend to stock up so I don't have to pay full price on the items later.  So this last week when I walked into 4 different 99 Cents Only Stores and found unheard of prices for name brand good items that are typically way more than that, I definitely stocked up.  Let's just say in a week's timeframe, I spent roughly $190.00 at the 99 Cents Only store.  And no you did not misread that number.  I also spent $60.00 at Smart and Final.  My cupboards, pantry, fridge and freezer are plenty stocked.  I always buy at the lowest possible price and stock up to save. 

So as you know, I am pretty thrifty.  But I definitely am human. 

  • Out of sheer lack of time in the mornings, I may or may not forget or not have time to make my coffee. 
  • I may or may not forget to pack my lunches. 
  • I may or may not feel lazy and not cook on certain nights. 
  • I may or may not take long hot showers or baths to attempt to relieve pain from my body. 
  • I may or may not end up buying coffee or soda while I am out. 
  • I may or may not have eaten out way too much during the days for lunches. 
  • I may or may not have spent a lot on eating out. 
  • I may or may not have to rewash so many loads of clothes in the washer.
  • I may or may not spend a lot on gas because during lunch, I may just want to really get away from the office
  • I may or may not just not care on certain days.
  • I may or may not fall asleep with the television on.
  • I may or may not leave a lot of lights on in the house.
  • I may or may not have taken the kids to the movies this month and no, not the dollar theatres (even thought it was the $5.00 Monday special night :) )
  • I may or may not REALLY be human. 
This month I really want to get better about things.  February we really need to work together.  I really want to work on a few things with you.
  • How about working on the whole coffee situation?  You know where I actually make and drink my coffee?  Yeah, that would be amazing.  I can't be spending all this money on coffees (even if it is only $2.00 coffee at 7-11)
  • How about working on the making sure I bring lunch every day to work?  Man, even those value menus at fast food joints have added up this month.  And come on, who can really just spend a dollar and be full there?  lol  I won't even try to lie and say I only spend a dollar when I go to these places.
  • How about working on making dinner every night?  Hey, I have an even better idea- how about actually packing my lunches with the leftover dinner and kill two birds with one stone? 
  • How about work on the whole clothing situation?  Yeah, time to get more organized.  I can't lie- I am sitting here at work during lunch thinking about the clothes I left in the washer last night.
  • How about working on the whole finances?  Yeah, time to sit down and make a budget and a bill paying routine. 
My birthday is on the 1st and I may or may not go out to eat with the kids (family tradition) but I know there are sooooooo many things I could work on in February.  February it's you and me against the world!  What do you say?

End of Month

Well, the end of the month is almost upon us.  I have so many things I need to work on.  I still haven't gone to Target and bought me one of those organizer things to work on the finances.  Yes, it is just pure laziness.  I won't even remotely try to sugar coat it.  Laziness can sure kick my butt at times. 

This month did a doozy on my pocket book.  I had to replace not one, not two, not even THREE but FOUR... yes, FOUR tires on my truck. 

I got paid on Friday, thinking man I will be able to save a good deal of money this month.  Then, I realized how often I was filling my tire with air.  Yeah, two of the tires were completely worse than bald and the other two weren't much better.  So $870.00 later... huge ouch... and I have new tires on the truck. 

After shopping at the 99 Cents Only store (another post on that entire subject later) and I am back to waiting for the next paycheck.  lol  Man, life as a single mom sure isn't always fun but I know I am beyond blessed!

February I really have plans for you in way of finances...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Nevada Hardest Hit

As some of you might know, I was out of work for a year.  Being on Unemployment and a single mommy to two kids, stressed is not enough of a word to describe what I was feeling. 

Through a great friend, I found a program called Nevada Hardest Hit Funds.  Have any of you heard of this program?  Basically it is a mortgage assistance program.  Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) will make up to $1,000.00 payment for 9 months possibly.  You do have to make a certain monthly payment that they inform you that you will be required to make. 

There are a number of things you must meet for criteria. From their site:

Who is Eligible?
  • US Citizen or Legal US Resident
  • Must agree to supply all necessary documents in a timely manner
  • Must be borrower’s primary residence
  • Home cannot be listed for sale
  • Must be a single family dwelling, condo/townhouse or manufactured home converted to real property
  • Mortgage balance cannot exceed $417,000
  • Mortgage Servicer has agreed to participate under the terms and conditions governing the use of NV HHF Funds
  • Homeowner cannot be in an active bankruptcy
  • Household liquid (non-retirement) assets cannot exceed $10,000
I can't express in words how much of a blessing this program has been to me and my kids.  I was approved at the end of November, so it kicked in for my December mortgage payment.  My monthly fee is $75.00.  I have to mail in my monthly money order and the program pays the rest and pays directly to my mortgage company (Wells Fargo).  This program will pay for 9 months and it helps so much more than I know how to express. 

If you are out of work, underemployed, or having difficulty, call them!  Trust me I thought there was no way in the world I was going to waste my time looking into it, and I honestly thought it was a gimmick.  I thought there was no way in the world that it was real.  It sounded like one of those refinancing scams.  But to my surprise, it isn't!  It really is a real, working program that helps significantly.  You really should look into it. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

{{Time to Get My Butt in Gear}}

So I have been thinking and thinking about my finances. 

The numbers keep running and encircling my mind today.  When you are a single mom and it is just your means accounting for the family, it is interesting. 

I need to get myself back on track like I used to be with the exception of my utility bills.  That has never been on track! I need to be better about paying my bills on time.  Don’t even ask me why it is so hard for me to sit down and pay everything by the time the due date has come around.  Here is my problem- to this day a bill will come and I sit it down thinking, “Oh I will set it here for when I go pay the bills.”  Then next thing I know, it slips my mind.  It suddenly has disappeared.  The dog might have eaten it… So I wait until the next bill, because calling the company is just too much work.  And the vicious cycle continues until OH CRAP I have a disconnect notice and I better pay it NOW or it will be turned off.  One would think I would have figured out a good bill paying system a long time ago, but here I sit years later still repeating over and over again this stupid cycle I keep putting myself in.  Remember this post I posted over a year ago?  Well, yeah I just seem to never learn. 

So I am revisiting my dilemma today.  I am going to get serious about it.  I am tired of all the stupid fees I keep paying for late fees.  It is so dumb on my account to have not already sat down like a normal grown adult and gotten it together by now.  STUPID! No other way to read it. 

My plan of attack: I am going to Target on Friday after I get paid and get one of those accordion style binder holders.  I will organize it in months so I can just slip the bills in there and document the due dates.  I am so good about paying my mortgage and phone because I know they are both due on the 1st of the month, but I really must get everything else in order. 

My credit score is in need of repair.  I won’t get into the details of it.  I just know my goal is to get it up and worked on. 

So this year I have a few big goals to work on.  No, I didn’t say resolutions because I know I just throw those out the window pretty fast.  I mean real goals. 

  • My main one is to improve my credit score.  I will work really hard this year to accomplish that.  I have a lot of work to do. 
  • Obviously as you read above, I need to work on my monthly budget and bill paying. 
  • I want to save the money to take the kids to Disneyland.  I have been wanting to take them for such a long time, but due to lack of resources to do so… uhhhh yeah we sorta haven’t gone.  But I definitely want to take them this year. 
  • I want to do more traveling with the kids
  • I want to start saving for a trip to visit my family in Wales.  Long story behind it, but I have an entire side of my family over there that I have never even met.  How crazy is that?  I want to meet and visit with them with my kids one day.  Hopefully within the next few years.  It is going to take a long time to save up to do so, but I sure want to go there. 
So there you have it guys.  Time to get working on it all. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, New Start

Well, I won't lie.  I know I have really been neglecting this blog and I plan to get back in my blogging.  I apologize for my absence.  I have been going through so many things this past year. 

I am single again after a huge break up.  Good Riddance!  He was not what I need in my life.  Funny thing is, he still tries messaging me wanting to work it out.  NEVER!  Not gonna happen dumbass!

This past year I was diagnosed with endometriosis.  Let me tell you, I had never heard of it before.  Then when being diagnosed with it, I am discovering how many women have it.  It is a silent disease that has a huge impact on one's life. Don't know what endometriosis is?  Do some research here and other places. It is a life affecting disease for sure.

I was in a car accident last March!  A stupid lady ran a stop sign and hit me.  I was heading north and after she hit me I was completely West.  Funny thing is, I was in my SUV, and she was in a little Mercedes!  Then she lied to the cop telling him it was MY fault and that I was speeding.  Ummm really!??  Thankfully for me, there just happened to be 48 feet of skid marks before she hit me and 13 feet afterwards.  I had seen her coming out of the corner of my eye and was trying to slam on the brake in the process and have a still injured foot and ankle.  I have gone through one after another doctor visits.  I have done a round of extremely painful injections which didn't help.  I have taken countless pain medication.  I have been through physical therapy which the doctor told me to stop going to due to it making my injury worse!  This last week I had nuclear scans on my foot and x-rays on my back.  I will follow up this week to find out the results at my doctor visits.  In addition, I have chiropractor appointments now.  If that isn't enough, imagine walking around in a walking boot and a cane.  The pain is horrible!!  The doctor is thinking it is permanent, but until reviewing these scans, there is no way of knowing for sure.  The other impairment doctor thinks I have CRPS as a result of the injury now (you can read here about that if you feel so inclined to do so out of curiosity...

Let me tell you, at my age I never in a million years imagined myself where I am physically

I finally found work this past month after being out of work for a year. Imagine being a single mother with 2 kids (adorable ones I might add), unemployed going into job interviews with a cane and foot boot... enough said.  After plenty of job hunting, resume sending, interviews and follow-ups I JUMPED (ok not literally-I can't jump) at the offer of the job I have.  It has been a struggle working and having to take off so much time for doctor appointments.  I can't lie and say my job isn't already in jeopardy as a result of all the time off I have to take.  I am blessed though and I can't after deny that.  I am praying and hoping that I can keep this job and be able to PHYSICALLY handle the work.  Some days I can barely move with my back going out and my foot.  I am thankful for my boss understanding so far until now regarding having to take time off work for these visits. 

 Financially speaking it has been pretty dang tough to weather through being out of work that long. Being a single mom and it being only my income (unemployment insurance) to support us with the exception of child support finally being put in place, I won't say I haven't been stressed out trying to keep us in order financially. 

I won't lie and say some days I don't just want to give up but I can't.  I have too much to live for.

This year I have so much to do to get caught up on money-wise.  So this year I am getting back into my groove with working, finances and everything else.  Wish me luck friends!  Feel free to comment on what you want to see this year here on the blog too!